Glass J? S S-46
SHORES OF NANTUCKET.
CROSBY, NICHOLS, AND COMPANY.
NEW YORK : C. S. FRANCIS & CO.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1853, by
CROSBY, NICHOLS, AND COMPANY,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
PRINTED BY JOHN WILSON AND SON,
No. 22, School Street.
But few of the articles composing this little collection were
intended to meet the public eye. The greater part are
the productions of youth, and were written merely for the
amusement of the passing hour ; but application having
been made to the writers (or, where this could not be done,
to their i mm ediate friends) to allow them to appear in print,
permission has been kindly granted.
The contributors are natives of Nantucket ; and that this
volume may serve as a memento of them, and, as such, pos-
sess an interest for their friends, is all that is expected.
Nantucket, Febbuaet, 1853.
The asterisk (*) after the title denotes that the writer of the article is
My Native Isle 1
Farewell Lines to a Friend * 5
The Isle of the Sea * 7
To a Spider * 13
Stanzas * 16
Reply to the Ettrick Shepherd * ... 18
Henry Klrke White * 21
Thou wast not There 23
Soliloquy oyer an Owl 25
On seeing a Picture of Trenton Falls . . 29
Parody on " A Man's a Man for a' that " . . 34
Stanzas to 37
The Music of the Tower 39
On the Death of a Friend * 42
The iEoLiAN Harp 45
My Gentle Friend 47
An Old Story 49
The Harper 52
" Oh ! would some Fairy Spell were Mine " . 57
A Valentine 60
A Pair or Sonnets 63
Lines to a Young Lady 65
Thou art not Forgotten 68
The First or May * 70
Autumn Thoughts 72
Tell me, where do the Faeries dwell ? . . .74
A December Evening 76
The Maniac 85
The Fisherman 95
Hymn of the "Washer-woman .... 100
After the Cross, the Crown 102
God's Presence 106
Speak Gently Ill
Lines to E E, 114
To my Wife 124
Death of Paul Dombey 131
SHORES OF NANTUCKET.
MY NATIVE ISLE.
Is there within wide nature's bound,
In realms above or depths profound,
Or on this globe terrene,
A goddess shrewd, as Pallas wise,
Or spirit of infernal guise,
Or aught of mortal mien ; —
Is there no sylph of wood or mead,
No sea-nymph in her watery bed,
No genii of the Nile ;
No one in mountain, grot, or dell,
Invested with the power to tell
Whence sprung my Native Isle ?
MY NATIVE ISLE.
Was it from ocean's coral caves,
Tossed by old Neptune to the waves,
A gift in merry glee ?
And will he not some future day,
In wonder at its lengthened stay,
Back hurl it to the sea ?
Or was it severed from the shore
Of neighboring lands, in days of yore,
By strong volcanic shock ?
Hurled into the Atlantic Main,
A barren, sandy, dreary plain, —
A bit without a rock ?
Perchance it floated from the North,
Issued from Zembla's regions forth,
To find a kinder sky ;
Perchance it may again set sail,
Propelled by Boreas' favoring gale,
The torrid zone to try.
MY NATIVE ISLE.
Undecked, unlovely as thou art,
A speck upon the world's great chart,
Thou art our native sjDot ;
And true to nature, still we love,
And by affection still we prove,
Thy faults can be forgot.
We know the grandest, loftiest pines
Have left to grace more genial climes,
Yet lovely plants here thrive ;
The violet bland, and violet blue,
And violet of cerulean hue,
Betoken spring 's alive.
Thy fatal shores and sandy shoals,
Round which the foaming white-cap rolls,
All hopes of safety blast ;
The pale, affrighted sailor eyes
The dangers that around thee rise,
And turns away aghast.
MY NATIVE ISLE.
Hence, all ye light, fantastic schemes,
Teeming with fancy's flimsy dreams,
No more my thoughts beguile :
It is not in your power to tell
Who tossed it up on ocean's swell,
From what empyrean realms it fell,
Or whence my Native Isle.
ADDRESSED TO A FRIEND.
Thy kind attentions, Phebe dear,
By me will never be forgot ;
'Twill be the theme of many a year,
Whate'er may be my future lot.
A stranger unto you I came,
Yet tenderly have been caressed :
While life shall animate this frame,
Your kindness shall possess my breast.
So kindly I have been received,
My heart forgot each wish to roam ;
I fancied first, and then believed,
'Twas but another name for home.
6 FAREWELL LINES.
Now duty summons me away,
My sand-girt Isle allures me too :
Yet, yet forgive my lingering stay,
To bid the friends beloved, adieu.
Farewell to thee, my youthful friend ;
May heavenly wisdom gild thy days ;
May guardian angels thee defend,
And lead thee through life's dangerous maze.
May science fair thy brows entwine ;
Mayst thou be rich in wisdom's lore ;
Mayst thou Fame's rugged ascent climb,
And every classic path explore.
May Genius weave a garland fair,
And cull her pearls from learning's stem,
And thee select the same to wear,
As fittest for her diadem.
South Yarmouth, 1815.
THE ISLE OF THE SEA.
Oh, know ye that Isle from the green ocean rising,
Begirt with the banks of the mariner's dread,
Where the daughters are fair, and the sons enter-
And wisdom encircles each patriarch's head ?
Oh, know ye that Isle ? 'Tis the Isle of my fathers,
The island that gave my first breathings to me ;
And still, through long absence, far memory gathers
Its brightest and best from that Isle of the Sea.
'Twas the bed of my boyhood, and fancy is tracing,
In visions by day and in dreams of the night,
The days of young pleasures, and sweetly enchasing
My slumbers with pictures of childish delight.
8 THE ISLE OF THE SEA.
Though long I have roamed o'er the fathomless
And far from the land of the brave and the free,
Yet still does my heart feel its fondest emotion,
When thinking of home in that Isle of the Sea.
There the sons are all hardy, undaunted and daring,
And brave in a contest where heroes would quail ;
And still 'tis their pride, where dark dangers are
To meet the blue waters, and battle the whale.
Let subject greet slave, and let kings court each
Let the wealthy, the proud, and the warlike agree ;
But I shall most glory to hail him as brother,
Whose home is my home, in that Isle of the Sea.
There the daughters are lovely, and yet unassuming,
Tho' gifted with beauty and sweetness and grace,
THE ISLE OF THE SEA. 9
Like wilderness roses in solitude blooming,
They stand, the fair flowers of their own dwelling-
Let Spain boast its beauties, Circassia its daughters,
How lovely, how fair, how bewitching they be ;
But fairer than these are those buds of the waters,
The maidens that bloom in that Isle of the Sea.
No groves of sweet myrtle warm valleys are shad-
No trees, through mild seasons, are blossoming
No spices, with fragrance, the breezes are lading ;
No birds, with mild music, rejoicing the air :
But the hearts of its people are bowers of myrtles,
And each maiden blossoms a cinnamon-tree ;
Their loves are its perfumes, their voices the turtles,
That scatter delight o'er that Isle of the Sea.
10 THE ISLE OF THE SEA.
There, no valleys with rich cultivation are teeming,
And few are the corn-fields that bend to the
No plains of young promise in spring-suns are
But small is the harvest the husbandman sees.
Though sterile its vales, yet the depths of the
Feel the plough of its sons, and surrender their
Unfruitful its plains, but the water's commotion
Gives gladness and gain to that Isle of the Sea.
There, no golden spires meet the blush of the morn-
No temples their pompous devotion display,
No proud, princely mansions the streets are adorn-
No halls lift their cap-stones to mock at decay.
THE ISLE OF THE SEA. 11
But the stranger there finds, in each humble dwell-
Kind brotherly greeting, hearts open and free ;
And prayers for the humble far upwards are swell-
From each lonely shrine in that Isle of the Sea.
Oh ye who but revel, where pomp and parading
Illume the broad city, and gild the gay street ;
And ye that but slumber where woodbines are
Or ramble where flowerets are kissing your feet ;
Come not to that island, for small is the measure
Of wealth or of verdure its works would display ;
Come not to that island, for brief is the pleasure
Your hearts would enjoy in that Isle of the Sea.
But come to that island, each brother in feeling,
And ye who can call it your birthplace and home ;
12 THE ISLE OF THE SEA.
Away from vexation and vanity stealing,
To purity, peace, and simplicity, come.
To Heaven will I breathe this my first aspiration,
Where'er o'er the waters my wanderings may be ;
Let my tottering limbs find their last habitation,
Their long resting-place, in that Isle of the Sea.
TO A SPIDER.
Wi' what a cunning, arch design
Ye toil and spin yer web sae fine,
Ye ugliest o' the creepin' kin' ;
And then sae sly,
To throttle, wi' yer tiny line,
The luckless fly !
Wha taught ye how to set yer snare
Sae geometrically fair,
As to the centre ye repair
To catch the sound
O' fly entangled in yer lair,
Spread wide around ?
14 TO A SPIDER.
Sometimes I think 'tis " Nickey Ben ;
And, wi' an awfu' smash, I'd sen'
Ye headlong down ; yet often when,
Too oft, alas !
I think upo' my fellow-men,
I let ye pass.
Yes, e'en like you, do mankind set,
Concealed, the dark malignant net ;
And when wi' management they get
Ane i' their toils,
Ilk hypocrite will him beset,
To share the spoils.
Ye do na' herd to mak' confusion,
Nor do ye wi' a foul allusion
E'er hurl the shaft o' persecution
Against yer race ;
Yet they wha practise maist delusion
Talk maist o' grace.
TO A SPIDER. 15
Ye hae nae faith, or creeds to sell,
Ye lanely, patient sentinel ;
Ye do na wish condemned to hell,
As Satan's minion,
Ilk spider, wha weaves for himsel'
His ain opinion.
Ye canna change yer ugly face ;
Ye do na fawn to get a place ;
Nor do ye persecute yer race,
Yer poke to fill :
Ye'd sooner live, wi'out disgrace,
A spider still.
W. C, JUN.
I have walked on the shore when the moon was
When the rippling wave has reflected her light ;
In the glare of her beam, in that murmuring wave,
Where fairies might revel, and naiads might lave,
Bright fancy has pictured the light of thine eye,
And with rapture imagined a brother's warm sigh :
Alone, yet not lonely, I've wandered there ;
For the soul has no thought which a soul may not
In the bustle of life, I have mingled with men ;
The courts we once trod, I have trodden again ;
Each scene that gave pleasure, my joy has renewed,
And in every place that loved form I have viewed.
'Twas a fiction of thought, 'twas a fanciful form,
Yet just to the life, and as vivid and warm ;
'Twas the substance of sentiment, imaged by mind ;
'Twas the converse of soul, unrestrained and refined.
I have seen thee oft in the visions of night,
When fancy is real, and thought is sight ;
And, waking, have loved that dear form to retrace,
Thy words to recall, to rekindle thy face.
'Tis not memory's sketch, — I see thee now ;
'Tis the beam of thy eye, 'tis thy manly brow ;
And yet, yet I see — oh ! it never can die —
The fire of thy soul in the glance of thy eye.
REPLY TO SOME LINES ADDRESSED TO THE
AUTHOR BY THE ETTRICK SHEPHERD.
Dear Bard, the sweet notes of the lyre thou hast
Make the heart in my bosom leap free of control ;
They have shed o'er my senses such spells as en-
And have pierced to the inmost recess of my soul.
Oh, would that my fortune, whose treacherous gay
Oft fanned me in slumbers of childhood's sweet
Had but made me a couch there among the green
That grows on the borders of Yarrow's pure
REPLY TO LINES. 19
For there, at the earliest peep of the morning,
The feet of the generous young shepherd had
And, ere evening's last rays were the hill-tops adorn-
My heart had rejoiced in the friend I had made.
Then slung o'er my shoulder his crook and his wallet,
I'd have trotted beside him o'er Ettrick's green
Caught the fire of his song as with glee he'd carol it,
And learned to chant with him his musical lays.
And when penned was the fold, and at night when
To bear a kind word to the lass of his love,
As the last fleeting rays of the day were expiring,
I'd have flown o'er the mountain more fleet than
20 REPLY TO LINES.
But, alas ! I was doomed to the treacherous ocean,
And how long I must plough it, time only can
But my heart will still glow with the warmest
When I think of thy kindness : dear Shepherd,
HENRY KIRKE WHITE.
Well may the gifted sons of Genius weep,
When spirits bright as his have passed away ;
Well may the spot, where low his ashes sleep,
Be crowned with laurel and the well-earned bay.
His was a master-hand : the trembling strings,
Beneath his touch, a deathless measure woke ;
Like some JEolian melody, it flings
Heart, soul, thought, feeling, in one mighty stroke.
Mighty, yet tender, as the plaintive wail,
The mournful death-note of the widowed dove ;
Or piteous plaint of lonely nightingale,
Mourning her young, her treasured, only love.
22 HENRY KIRKE WHITE.
Mournful, yet sweet ; a gentle influence breathing,
Thrilling the soul that lists its syren-strain ;
Soft as the zephyrs summer flowers are wreathing
In classic grove, or famed Arcadian plain ;
Pure as if penned by Inspiration warm,
From " Castaly, enchastened with its dews ; "
Free from the heart, one deep, melodious strain
Declares the favored offspring of the Muse.
THOU WAST NOT THERE.
I stood amid the joyous throng
Of spirits light and gay ;
I heard the jest, I marked the song,
But thought was far away :
How could my brow be aught but dull ?
Their mirth how could I share ?
My cheek was wet, my heart was full,
For, ah ! thou wast not there.
Though friends long loved were hovering round,
Whose voices met my ear,
Yet, ah ! it was of thine the sound
That still I seemed to hear ;
24 THOU WAST NOT THERE.
And oft they lured me to a smile,
That seemed to banish care :
They little thought that, all the while,
I felt — thou wast not there.
Can aught the spirit's blight restore ?
Can hearts once broke be healed ?
When one so loved is seen no more,
Can aught a solace yield ?
Oh, no ! for 'mid life's happiest hour,
If this thou didst not share,
I still must feel the magic power
Of— "Ah, thou wast not there!"
SOLILOQUY OVER THE DEAD BODY OF
WHICH DIED FROM A WOUND RECEIVED BY A SHOT FROM A SPORTSMAN'S GDN.
Departed Bird! at Wisdom's shrine,
'Twas thine in days of yore to bend :
Thy placid look and step sublime
Have marked thee still Minerva's friend.
Oh that we could the power have given
To tell the woes thy bosom knew,
When sportman's arm thy bone had riven,
As o'er the land thou noiseless flew !
On Greenland's cliffs perchance thou wandered,
And hovered o'er that waste of snow :
Oh, could we know on what thou pondered,
Or whitherward thou next did go !
26 SOLILOQUY OVER THE
Did other bipeds of that nation
Long speeches oft in conclave hold ?
Did wise ones talk of Education,
And Temperance too, amid the cold ?
Why did thou not give them an essay,
That tongues were made to taste the food,
And speaking much to gain a victory
Was not the way to do them good ?
Did they discuss the Slavery question,
And nice disputes with ardor make,
Of moral means and legislation ?
Or did that subject make them quake ?
Phrenology, that famous science, —
Was't oft a theme in that cold clime ?
And did they there place much reliance
On bumps, — as Order, Tune, and Time ?
DEAD BODY OF AN OWL. 27
Thy own broad head, say, did they fix on,
Where every organ stretches wide ?
A cast, methinks, would solve the question,
That Wisdom's seat 's on either side.
Did they sometimes put folks to sleeping,
Amid the jest of social throng?
And, into others' stomachs peeping,
Will them to tell what's going wrong ?
Hast thou ofttimes our island been on,
To seek for food to break thy fast ?
And did thou think that thy broad pinion
Had brought thee here to breathe thy last ?
Alas ! poor thing, how strange the issue !
And little thought thou it would be,
That vascular and nervous tissue
Would be explained in one like thee.
28 SOLILOQUY OVER AN OWL.
I trow, had Dr. S possessed thee,
He'd served thee up with better skill,
And shown how bones with joints connect thee,
The nerves that feel, and those that will.
In short, dear bird, in all thy wandering,
What hast thou thought of sons of men ?
Oh ! could thou know my secret longing,
I'm sure thou'd come to life again.
In vain is all my ardent yearning
To animate thy lifeless clay :
Perhaps thy spirit, free from mourning,
Will take another form some day.
Till then, farewell, — though hope is blighted,
And what thy musing none can tell,
We'll ne'er forget we've been delighted
With thy strange visits, — fare thee well.
ON SEEING A PICTURE OF TRENTON FALLS.
When such sweet scenery we have
In our own native land,
Why need we cross the Atlantic wave,
Unto a foreign strand ?
Why wander Scotland's Highlands through,
To seek the haunts of Roderick Dhu,
Or visit Ellen's Isle ;
Or climb the Swiss's Alps of snow ;
Or wend where Summer's ceaseless glow
On fair Italia smiles ?
With Scott and Burns, the favorite themes
Of many a tale and song,
Were their own mountains, glens, and streams
And might not ours be sung ?
30 ON A PICTURE OF TRENTON FALLS.
We have a land as fair as they ;
As rich and varied scenery,
Though unimproved by art,
As ever charmed the traveller's eye,
Inspired the song of minstrelsy,
Or warmed the patriot's heart.
Hail, Holy Land ! where Israel bled,
May I not by thy streams repose ;
Or sip the dews on Hermon shed ;
Or deck my brow with Sharon's rose ?
Though Syria's bright and scorching sun
Sends down his burning beams of day,
When Carmel's grottos I have won,
Smiling, I'll tempt the dazzling ray.
Here flowerets breathe their rich perfume,
And twisting vines their banners spread ;
On Gilead's balm of healing bloom,
The pilgrim rests his weary head.
I gaze upon thy broken shrines,
And wonder where the builders are :
No minstrels gather 'neath thy vines ;
No timbrels tune their anthems there.
From Pisgah's top I gaze afar :
Silence sits brooding o'er the height
That once was lit by Bethlehem's star,
Where Judah's shepherds watched the night.
Chaldea's sages all are dead,
And Horeb's rock has ceased to weep ;
And Zion rears its holy head
Where Israel's hosts in silence sleep.
Where has the warrior's courser fled,
That arched his neck o'er Gibeon's vale ;
That plunged his hoof where heroes bled,
And restless snuffed the tainted gale ?
No more he chafes his foaming side,
Or proudly sweeps o'er Tabor's brow,
Or bathes his breast in Jordan's tide ;
Not Sinai's thunders fright him now.
Yet still I hail thee, Holy Land :
Though death and coldness wrap thee round,
The timbrel, touched by Miriam's hand,
Is quivering yet with magic sound.
Thy skies have still the mellow glow ;
Thy heaven has still that healing dew
That glistened on the minstrel's brow,
As sweet she ran the mazes through.
Oh ! I could live for ever here,
A dweller on these hills divine :
I linger yet, and dry the tear
That fain would flow for Palestine.
PARODY ON "A MAN'S A MAN FOR A' THAT."
Though stripped of all the dearest rights
Which nature claims, and a' that,
There's that which in the slave unites,
To make the man for a' that.
For a' that, and a' that,
Though black his skin, and a' that,
We cannot rob him of his kind, —
The slave's a man for a' that.
Though by his brother bought and sold,
And beat and scourged, and a' that,
His wrongs can ne'er be felt or told,
Yet he's a man for a' that.
For a' that, and a' that,
His body chained, and a' that,
PARODY ON "A MAN'S A MAN," ETC 35
The image of his God remains, —
The slave's a man for a' that.
How dark the spirit that enslaves !
Yet darker still than a' that,
He who, amid the light, still craves
Apologies, and a' that ;
For a' that, and a' that,
Small evil finds, and a' that,
In crimes which are of darkest hue,
And foulest deeds, and a' that.
If those, who now in bondage groan,
Were white and fair, and a' that,
Oh ! should we not their fate bemoan,
And plead their cause, and a' that ?
For a' that, and a' that,
Would any say, in a' that,
We've nought to do, they are not here,
We'll mind our own, and a' that ?
36 PARODY ON "A MAN'S A MAN," ETC.
Oh ! tell us not they're clothed and fed ;
'Tis insult, stuff, and a' that !
With freedom gone, all joy is fled ;
For Heaven's best gift is a' that.
For a' that, and a' that,
Free agency, and a' that,
We get from Him who rules on high ;
The slave we rob of a' that.
Then think not to escape His wrath,
Who's equal, just, and a' that ;
His warning voice is sounded forth,
We heed it not for a' that.
For a' that, and a' that,
'Tis not less sure for a' that ;
His vengeance, though 'tis long delayed,
Will come at last for a' that.
A morning rose half-blown ;
The thoughtful light of a star ;
Soft music on a summer's sea,
Heard floating from afar ;
The rippling of the tide,
As it kisses the pebbles fair ;
The perfume of earth's countless flowers,
That loads the evening air ;
The lightning's startling flash,
As it glances through the heaven ;
The gleam of the hurrying meteor,
Through the waste above us driven ;
38 STANZAS TO
Oh ! nature's countless voices,
How they speak to the human soul !
From all sides her countless messengers
On the throbbing spirit roll.
But these are tame and dead,
To the speaking human face,
Where feeling, thought, and sentiment
Assemble and embrace.
Oh ! what a glory covers
This human face divine !
Yet, even among the heavenliest ones,
Preeminent is thine.
THE MUSIC OF THE TOWER.
Trinity Church, a very beautiful little edifice in Nantucket, was de-
stroyed in the great fire of 1846. It may be remembered that the tower
contained a latticed window, through which the wind sighed forth, as an
iEolian Harp, strains of fitful melody, "most musical, most melancholy."
How sweet, how soothing, and how clear,
Thou sacred tower, thy Spirit's tone
Sounds on the musing traveller's ear,
Listening and lone !
Earnest and deep that Spirit calls, —
Speaks to the wearied soul of home ;
Of holy rest within these walls :
" Come, hither come."
40 THE MUSIC OF THE TOWER.
And, oh ! responsive in the heart,
An answering chord is wakened there,
Whose voiceless chorus bears a part,
And calls to prayer.
Methinks thy viewless minstrelsy
Weaveth for all a soothing strain,
In mingling notes of sympathy
For joy and pain.
Young men and maidens, blithe and free,
With gladsome heart, draw near, draw near,
List to the watch-tower's melody,
With chastened ear.
Mourner ! who, unsubmissive still,
Forget'st the Hand that wounds to cure,
Hear, in that note of magic thrill,
A promise sure ;
THE MLUSIC OP THE TOWER. 41
A pledge that He, whose power hath given
Enchanting music to the air,
Thus sweetly sends a voice from heaven,
To win thee there.
And thou, mysterious sentinel !
Invisible to human sight, —
Hath not thy watch-word speech to tell,
"What of the night?"
Haply it warneth that the night
For me shall have no morning ray ;
That with my soul the fading light
Shall flee away.
God of my life ! Strength of my day !
Oh ! grant me courage from on high
To hear thy summons and obey,
Without a sigh.
Lent, 4th day, 1842.
WRITTEN BEFORE AND AFTER THE DEATH OF A DEAR FRIEND AND SISTER.
Sister, on thy bed now lying, racked with pains,
and death so near,
Thou, through Christ thy Saviour, trying to remove
each gloomy fear ;
Cruel death, with all its terrors, vibrates on thy lis-
tening ear ;
But thy hope is sure and steadfast, nought can move
or make thee fear.
In all thy youth and beauty, can we see the hour
Which shall fill our hearts with sorrow, crush the
hopes we've raised so high ?
Can we look upon thy features, and pronounce thee
cold in death ?
Say, are we such frail creatures, there's no boasting
in our health ?
Oh ! I love thee, love thee dearly ; and the thought
of parting now
Fills my mind with gloomy feelings, casts a deep
shade o'er my brow.
I have stood and gazed, and wondered at destruc-
tion's fatal blow,
When the cords of life were sundered, and the fair-
est was laid low.
Silently I watched beside thee, when thy life was
And thy breath was scarce denied thee, though each
gasp appeared thy last ;
Yes, that privilege was granted me, to stand beside
And to watch thy dying struggle, and to close thy
eyes when dead ;
Then each thought and feeling wakened, when we
called on thee in vain ;
Then the fount of tears was opened ; who from
weeping could refrain ?
Now, kind Saviour, we implore comfort and sus-
taining grace, —
May thy spirit hover over, wilt thou fill this vacant
Blessings, comforts, without number, shower them
o'er thy servants left :
Thou hast taken their dear treasure, give submission
to the bereft.
THE ^EOLIAN HARP.
Oh ! list to the Zephyr-minstrel's note,
As he breathes on the air-harp's string ;
While in mystic dance the fairies float
In the flower-bell's magic ring.
Fancy paints the fay queen's lovely train,
As they flit through the graceful maze :
Hush ! fickle Zephyr changes his strain,
And more sadly, yet sweetly plays.
Like memory's voice to the mourner's heart,
Recalling the loved of " lang syne ; "
And while at the thought the tear-drops start,
Gently bidding her not repine ;
46 THE AEOLIAN HARP.
Or the converse of angels in realms above,
As fondly together they roam ;
Like the voice of God, with endearing love,
Recalling the wanderer home.
Beautiful harmonist ! powerless are words
Thy matchless charms to repeat ;
For 'tis God's own voice breathing o'er thy chords,
Awakening thy melody sweet.
MY GENTLE FRIEND.
H. C, JUN,
Like to a beauteous star,
Which, 'neath the wing of night,
Would fain retreat in sad jet sweet
Unconsciousness of light ;
Like to the modest plant,
Which shrinks from human touch,
And has no earthly confidant,
Lest it confide too much ;
Like to the poet's " gem
Of purest ray serene,"
Which, 'neath the waves, in emerald caves
Delights to dwell unseen ;
48 THE GENTLE FRIEND.
Like to a crystal stream,
Which stealeth softly by,
As a silver beam or a starry gleam
From the silent summer sky, —
E'en so my friend supreme
Moves in her radiant sphere,
Silent as any star or stream,
Serene as any seer ;
Yet showing, as she shines
On earth's beclouded ways,
A light more beauteous than the moon,
A life too pure for praise.
AN OLD STORY.
Before Columbus ever thought
Of Western World with glory fraught ;
Before the Northmen had been known
To wander from their native zone ;
Before was raised a single mound,
The antiquarians to confound ;
Indeed, so very long ago,
The time one can't exactly know, —
A giant Sachem, good as great,
Reigned in and over our Bay State.
So huge was he, his realm so small,
He could not exercise at all,
Except by taking to the sea
(For which he had a ticket free,
50 AN OLD STORY.
Granted by Neptune, with the seal,
A salient clam, and couchant eel).
His pipe was many a mile in length,
His lungs proportionable in strength ;
And his rich moccasins, — with the pair,
The seven-league boots, would not compare.
Whene'er siestas he would take,
Cape Cod must help his couch to make ;
And, being lowly, it was meet
He should prefer it for his feet.
Well, one day, after quite a doze,
A month or two in length suppose,
He waked, and, as he'd often done,
Strolled forth to see the mid-day sun :
But while unconsciously he slept,
The sand within his moccasins crept ;
At every step some pain he'd feel,
'Twas now the toe, now near the heel ;
At length his Sachemship grew cross,
The pebbles to the sea he'd toss,
AN OLD STORY. 51
And with a moccasin in each hand,
He threw on either side the sand ;
Then, in an instant, there appear
Two little isles the Sachem near :
One as the Vineyard now is known,
The other we may call our own.
At ease, he freely breathed awhile,
"Which sent the fogs to bless our isle ;
And turning east, with quickened motion,
The chill, bleak winds came o'er the ocean.
Ill-judging Sachem ! would that you
Had never shaken here that shoe
Or, having done so, would again,
And join Nantucket to the main !
Old Ocean's stormy barrier passed,
The Harper gained the beach at last ;
He seized his harp, he leaped ashore ;
He played his wild refrain once more,
The same old sixpence, tu and tu,
Echoed the shores of bleak Coatue ;
'Twas tu I can't, and tu I can,
All the way to shearing pen.
Onward, but not unheeded, went
The Harper old ; his form was bent,
His doublet wool, his hose were tow,
His pantaloons were cut so, so ;
The people gazed, the coofs admired,
And many stranger things transpired ;
THE HARPER. 53
Coppers from many a hand were wrung,
As, wading through the sand, he sung, —
'Tis tu I cant, and tu I can,
All the way to shearing pen.
'Twas just midway of all the year,
When flowers and fleeces first appear,
When grass is grown, when sheep are sheared ;
When lilies, like a lady's hand,
Their scented petals first expand ;
When flowery June was in her teens,
The Harper, 'mid his favorite scenes,
Played tu I can't, and tu I can,
All the way to shearing pen.
The streets are passed, the plain is reached,
Whose uniqueness was ne'er impeached,
Dearer to him than Marathon,
Or any plam beneath the sun ;
54 THE HARPER.
Dearer by far than hymns or psalms,
The bleatings of those new-shorn lambs ;
Dearer than all that homespun strain
The Harper wildly sings amain, —
'Tis tu I can't, and tu I can,
All the way to shearing pen.
The Harper seats him 'neath a tent,
Made of a mainsail, patched and rent ;
The curious folk, of every hue,
Looked on as though they'd look him through
He signifies his calm intent
To drink — of the liquid element ;
He eats a large three-cornered bun ;
And then, his slight refection done,
He takes his harp, and plays again
The same mysterious wild refrain, —
'Tis tu I can't, and tu I can,
All the way to shearing pen.
THE HARPER. 55
Soon as the Harper old appeared,
A ring was formed, a space was cleared ;
Three ladies, clad in spotless white,
Three gentlemen, all dandies quite,
Impatient for the dance, are seen
On the brown-sward, some call it green.
No light fantastic toes belong
To any of the joyous throng,
They're all prepared to reel it strong ;
The Harper rosins well his bow, —
His very catgut 's in a glow,
With tu I can't and tu I can,
All the way to shearing pen.
The sheep are sheared, the reel is done,
The Harper back to Coofdom gone ;
My lay is closed, you'll think it meet ;
Pleasures are always short when sweet ;
'Twas so when first the world began,
'Twill be so when the world is done.
56 THE HARPER.
Who was the Harper ? what his strain ?
Wait till you hear him play again, —
'Tis tu I can't, and tu I can,
All the way to shearing pen.
OH! WOULD SOME FAIRY SPELL WERE
MINE ! "
Say's t thou, if fairy spell were thine,
No child of earth should e'er repine ?
That sorrowing ones, now bowed with care,
The smile of happiness should wear ?
That poverty should reign no more,
But all be blest with plenteous store ?
That discord, strife, and war should cease,
And future days be passed in peace ?
That, to the earth's remotest bound,
Oppression should no more be found ?
Fetters and chains should parted be,
Captor and captive both be free ?
58 " on ! would some fairy spell
All ! vain thy wish, useless thy prayer ;
And, e'en if granted, wouldst thou dare
To seek to change the Almighty will,
Which, for our good, doth suffer ill ?
Know that affliction oft is fraught
With good, by pleasure never wrought ;
Then ask no more for fairy spell,
But act the part assigned thee well.
Prove that thy wishes are sincere,
Nor longer be inactive here,
While round thee there is many a heart
Panting for joy thou canst impart.
What though thy worldly store is small,
Surely, to-day thou need'st not all :
A portion, then, oh ! freely give,
And bid one starving brother live.
WERE MINE." 59
And perfect freedom wouldst thou gain,
First free thyself from error's chain,
Whose fetters are more deadly far
Than iron bolt or prison bar.
Thine aid to all who need it lend ;
E'en to the guiltiest be a friend ;
Strive to improve each coming hour,
And action shall increase thy power.
All hail ! St. Valentine ! all hail !
Thou lover's patron-saint !
The world to me was brighter far,
When we were first acquaint.
But, faithful to thy worshipper,
E'en in this winter hour,
Long-buried hopes thou hast revived
By thine own magic power.
I deemed that Cupid (saucy elf)
His bow had quite unstrung ;
That I was laid upon the shelf,
Unnoticed and unsung ;
A VALENTINE, 61
That Art in vain her garland hung
Upon my faded cheek ;
Time's traces on my care-worn brow
Would eloquently speak ;
That raven locks, whose changing hue
Oft called forth many a sigh,
Had breathed their own sad requiem,
And whispered, " You must die."
But thanks to thee, thou potent one,
A fleeting vision this,
Just think of it, — a valentine,
Directed not amiss,
Borne on the wings of love or steam,
'Cross land or rolling sea,
Affection's welcome messenger,
Has kindly greeted me.
62 A VALENTINE.
As beauteous on the unsullied page,
The characters he traced,
As Eros' shrine in that pure heart,
By every virtue graced,
His treasured image long has been
A sunbeam in my way :
Like him, I too have loved but once,
But that has been for aye.
Had other offered me a heart, —
Though 'twere a perfect gem
Of goodness, purity, and truth,
Worthy a diadem, —
The offering I'd have cast aside,
And all the world should see
For him alone I'd live or die,
Or e'en a Hussey be.
A PAIR OF SONNETS.
Again to thee, O surf-encircled strand,
Enamored still my thoughts will turn ; once more,
Dear Siasconset, by thy foam-clad shore,
Leaving in thought this tree-encumbered land,
How well I love to tread thy arid sand,
And listen to thy waves' sonorous roar,
Or watch old Pollock's back, all crested hoar,
And the wild waters hissing fierce and grand !
O pebbly beach ! Sankoty ! O Sea !
And ye whose names are linked with these, how oft
In mid-day musings and in midnight dreams,
In visions bright, have ye been seen by me,
When my free spirit has been borne aloft !
And when I rhyme, shall ye not be my themes ?
64 A PAIR OF SONNETS.
Seated where summer winds and bird and bee
Tread with their gentle feet on opening flowers,
— The fairest spot in this fair world of ours, —
My thoughts, deserting bird and flower and tree,
Have taken ship, and boldly steered to sea,
Where never yet were either meads or bowers,
To brighten in the sun, or summer's showers, —
To where the winds are salt, but wild and free :
There, by my fancy's aid, I step once more,
With naked limbs, all dripping wet with brine,
And joyous leap, Coatue, upon thy shore,
As oft I leaped in days a little yore.
O bleak Coatue ! would that the lot were mine
In thy clear waves to bathe my limbs once more !
Off Island, 1840.
The following lines, addressed to a young lady who was an invalid at
the time, were found attached to a bottle of Madeira wine, at the door of
I come, my lady fair, from yon far-distant isle,
"Whose hills are ever green, whose soft skies ever
Where winter's chill and summer's heat ne'er blast
the fertile plains,
But one unvaried spring in cloudless beauty reigns ;
Where gentle zephyrs 'mong the tops of lofty cedars
While round their trunks the sweet wild flowers
are wreathed in bright array ;
66 LINES TO A YOUNG LADY.
Where birds in orange groves their grateful voices
To God, the source of good, in endless songs of
Where vineyards, crowning hill and dale, valley and
Their tribute to unthankful man in rich profusion
I would that thou, on fairy wings, might fly to that
Where, all earth's turmoil far removed, all worldly
Thou might, in wandering through that vale, in
roaming o'er the plain,
Thy wasted strength in peace renew, thy wonted
But since for thee it is ordained another lot to bear,
To struggle on from Cross to Crown, through daily
toil and care,
LINES TO A YOUNG LADY. 67
I've left that dear, sweet island-home, on grateful
To visit thee, to give thee strength till life's last
drop is spent.
Then take me, lady, spurn me not; this blessing
grant to me,
To mingle yet my life with thine, and e'en be one
THOU ART NOT FORGOTTEN.
Forgotten ! dear girl, I would sooner forget
The green hills of my own native shore,
The scenes of my childhood, the tree where we sat,
That stood by the old cottage door.
Forgotten ! O Sherburne, the eternal waves,
That break on thy storm-beaten shore,
Shall be hushed, and the rocks and the cliffs and
Shall cease to re-echo the roar ;
And the fisherman's bark no longer shall glide
So close to the dangerous surf ;
And the sun, as it sinks in the evening tide,
Shall take its farewell of the earth ;
THOU ART NOT FORGOTTEN. 69
And the lips on which sweet music hung
In life's gay, sunny morn,
The eyes that smiled, the voice that sung,
The vivid picture drawn
On memory's first and brightest page,
And all that charms the spot,
Shall cease to be, nor thought engage, —
Ere thou shalt be forgot.
New York, 1846.
THE FIRST OF MAY.
ADDRESSED TO A LITTLE GIRL.
Rude March has blown his chilly blast,
And milder April's rains are past,
Conspiring both to change the scene
From sober brown to living green ;
"While Earth seems decked in bright array,
To usher in the First of May.
'Twas on this day, in olden time,
The church-bells all rung merry chime,
And lads and lasses danced and sung,
As the tall pole with wreaths they hung ;
Or, gathering round with garlands gay,
They chose and crowned their Queen of May.
THE FIRST OF MAY. 71
Those times are o'er, — no beauteous Queen
Eules for a day the village green ;
But still, when comes the bright May morn,
The lads and lasses rise at dawn,
And to the meadows take their way,
To cull the fragrant flowers of May.
Long be it kept, — - "this day of flowers,"
And its return bring happy hours ;
Hours to be spent in harmless glee,
Hours from all care and trouble free :
To Mary Anna may the day
Oft prove a happy First of May !
The autumn winds are sighing,
And the leaves are falling fast ;
And all nature now seems dying,
From the cold and wintry blast.
Soon will spring return, delighting
With its calm and sunny hours ;
Hopeful, joyful thoughts exciting,
'Mid the birds and pleasant flowers.
So the heart, oppressed with sadness
And the wintry blast of gloom,
In the spring of heavenly gladness,
Turns to its joyful home.
AUTUMN THOUGHTS. 73
And the world-freed soul rejoices
In that home of heavenly rest,
Mingling with the happy voices,
Singing ever with the blest.
TELL ME, WHERE DO THE FAIRIES DWELL
Is yon bright cloud, with its edges of gold,
The home of those beings of whom we are told
So many sweet tales and legends of old ?
Not in the clouds do the fairies dwell.
Do they not love by the sea to roam,
And in pearly shells, wet with ocean's foam,
Hold they their revels, and have their home ?
Not by the sea do the fairies dwell.
Perhaps 'mong the boughs of the greenwood trees,
In grottoes formed by the sheltering leaves,
And sung to sleep by the evening breeze ?
Not in the trees do the fairies dwell.
WHERE THE FAIRIES DWELL. 75
The fairies' home is the heath-flowers' bell,
Inmates they of each little pink cell :
Then the heath thou must love, and love it well.
A DECEMBER EVENING.
The sun went down an hour ago,
And the clouds he tinged with red
Are pale beneath the pale cold moon,
As the cheeks of the early dead.
There is no sound in the upper air,
No sound on land or sea :
I fear that life and death are one,
All things so silent be.
The islands, cold and white and still,
On the still black bay they lie ;
They seem like the shadows of the clouds,
On the shadow of the sky.
A DECEMBER EVENING. 77
The sycamore's warm heart is chilled ;
In icy mail he stands ;
He holds aloft a glittering spear
In each of his hundred hands.
High court he held in summer's prime,
Beneath his branches wide ;
Blithe children gathered there at morn,
And lovers at eventide.
No more with green and gold he decks
His hall for lover and maid,
But grimly now upon the snow
He flings a skeleton shade.
My heart is chilled, and the rosy hopes
That gladdened my summer hours
Have drooped before the winter's cold,
And perished with the flowers.
78 A DECEMBER EVENING.
Sadly I muse upon the past, —
Upon days without virtues fled ;
And sins forgot, from my memory rise,
As from their graves the dead.
But hark ! how clear from the old church tower
Comes the music of midnight chimes !
Oh ! winter's cold can weave no spell,
But is broke by those silver rhymes.
Their sound hath waked the warm south wind,
That slept so still before ;
The sea hath heard, and her tiny waves
Are whispering to the shore.
Silence and cold have left their throne,
They are banished their lifeless realm ;
The giant-tree hath flung to the ground
His icy mail and helm ;
A DECEMBER EVENING. 79
And the cold, white clouds beneath the moon,
They're the ivory gates of Heaven ;
They roll aside, and parted souls
Pass through, their sins forgiven.
Thus God sends cheer from the outer world,
Sends courage back to my soul ;
And in music the hopes of my gladdest hours
Through its lighted chambers roll.
I stood upon those heights, where Nature, Art,
And memories of the past, all touch the heart :
A river, oh, how fair ! lay far below,
And storied cape and isle, kissed by its flow,
Brought to the mind the thought of that bold deed
That made the spot immortal. Its rich meed
The dazzling city, sat in splendor meet,
Guarding the lovely valleys at her feet,
And England's flag waved o'er with proudest grace;
But these made not the chief charm of the place.
A column, bearing helm and sword, stood near,
Telling, with simple grandeur, " Wolfe died here
Victorious ! " Victorious ! I stayed
Long musing on that record proud, and prayed,
In the still language of my lifted heart,
That, when my Father called on me to part
With those I loved, giving them, one by one,
Back to his arms, when this life's work was done,
I might, recalling each beloved name
To those who still were toiling, glad proclaim,
Telling of conflicts stern and glorious,
He fought with sin, and died victorious !
THOUGHTS SUGGESTED IN THE WOODS AT NOON.
Oh, ever-changing Nature ! how dost thou
Renew thy beauty every summer-time !
Beneath Death's mouldering hand mankind must
But each successive year brings back thy prime,
Thy wealth of foliage, thy birds and bees
Filling the air with richest harmonies.
Oh, with what glowing eloquence dost thou
Impart thy lessons to the human soul !
Before thy altar, Nature, let me bow,
And yield my spirit to thy soft control.
Thy influence subduing all, I feel,
E'en as a spell, o'er my rapt senses steal.
'Tis now the still and hallowed hour of noon,
Not e'en a sound disturbs the deep serene ;
Hushed is the brook's subdued, low undertone,
And checkered sunshine slants the rocks between.
Throughout the woods a noontide slumber reigns,
As hushed to list to sweet angelic strains.
With Nature thus alone, the soul is full
Of hallowed thoughts, and aspirations high, —
Of deep responses to the beautiful,
And glowing prospects of futurity,
Which seem prefigured in each shifting gleam
Of sunshine upon rock and hill and stream.
blessed Nature ! thou a gospel art
To every soul who readeth thee aright :
How does thy beauty purify the heart,
And give it glimpses of the land of light,
Where Death can never come, nor cold decay,
To stay the spirit's ever-upward way ;
Where time is not, and where, from height to height,
With no obstruction, such as we feel here,
The soul progresses to the Infinite,
On the strong wing of faith, unchecked by fear ;
And dwells, from sin and suffering made free,
Near to the Fount of Truth, eternally !
How oft they suffer whose whole life reflects the
will of Heaven !
How hard they seek forgiveness who have least to
be forgiven !
Lingers the sinless child of love in agonizing prayer ;
Her hopes are lost, — her gaze is wild, — she finds
no Father there.
Hinda's carol 's heard no longer at the purpling of
And the lark that used to greet her, calls till plain-
tive grows his song ;
And the flowers droop and die, by the path she
fondly trod ;
Alas ! poor Hinda lost herself in seeking for her God.
'Twas golden summer in my heart, glad summer
When with a wreath of lily-bells my Lillibel I
And called her Queen of all my hopes, and swore
myself her Knight,
And boldly vowed for Lillibel the fiercest foe to
For Lillibel, dear Lillibel !
Oh ! all the flowers seemed lily-bells in those glad,
And all the brooks sang Lillibel along their winding
Laden with dreams of Lillibel, the lulling breezes
The silver echoes only rang the mellow-music name
Of LiUibel, sweet Lillibel !
Cold winter now is in the sky, chill winter in my
I wander by the silent brook, to muse and mourn
The wild winds, whistling through the trees, in weird
The story of the lily-bells and of my Lillibel, —
My Lillibell, lost Lillibel !
That King whose lance no knight may break, whose
love no Queen divide,
Black-plumed upon his milk-white steed, bore off
my darling bride ;
He gathered all the lily-bells to bind around her
I feel there are no flowers for me in all the wide
world now, —
No lily-bells, no Lillibel !
Darlings of old Ocean !
On his ample breast,
Rocked with gentle motion,
Trustingly ye rest,
Or play with the white locks that stream beneath
Buoyant little swimmers !
Reared in coral caves,
Where no sunshine glimmers,
But in coolest waves,
Her fairy flitting form the merry mermaid laves.
Pretty petted minions
Of the sea-nymphs fair !
On wave-wafted pinions,
Messages ye bear
That thrill the merman's heart with joy or fierce
Fragile votive flowers !
From dense bowers marine,
When the tempest lowers,
Plucked by hands unseen,
And strewn, in vain, the Storm-god to appease, I
What a world of fancies
Your fair forms suggest !
Ye with truth invest,
And Ocean's myths and fables live in you expressed.
To the destined strand !
To your Holy Land !
Ye teach me firmer faith in the All-guiding Hand.
Treasures of such beauty
Ye to me have brought,
Lessons of such duty
Ye to me have taught,
That my faint heart despairs to praise ye as I ought.
'Tis Education forms the mind of youth ;
Conducts the footsteps in the paths of truth ;
Expands the soul, and purifies the heart ;
Gives the young scholar skill to act a part ;
Brings forth to light each latent talent given,
And makes of human life a blissful Eden.
Like the fixed stars from their far distant height,
Learning reflects a pure and heavenly light,
By which the everlasting ages shine,
And bless its holy rays with joy divine.
Ah ! would to Heaven the exalted gift were mine
To lay, fair Science, on thy sacred shrine
A worthy offering, fitted to inspire
The ardent breast with an increased desire
To sound thy mysteries, improve the mind,
And strive to elevate and bless mankind !
From age to age what living lights have shed
The rays of genius on the student's head !
With immortality their fame is crowned,
And known their names to earth's remotest bound.
Great Homer rose, the wonder of his day,
And sung, in strains sublime, his touching lay :
The Siege of Troy, long wrapt in sombre night,
By his gigantic power was brought to light.
And shall I dare, and is the privilege mine,
To name thee, Shakspeare, with thy gifts divine ?
With steady light thy powerful genius shone,
Reflecting lustre round the Tudor's throne ;
And future ages, with admiring gaze,
Applaud thy works with undissembled praise.
Sage Bacon's fame o'er half the world presides ;
Spirit from matter the great Locke divides ;
And Newton, with his penetrating mind,
Surveys the heavens, new wonders there to find, —
Discovers worlds to science then unknown,
And founds a glorious system, all his own.
In our free land a Franklin's voice was heard,
And listening senates bowed before his word ;
Each star, that studs the blue ethereal sky,
Became familiar to his practised eye ;
Xike Jove, he held the thunder in his hand,
And peal on peal rolled o'er the astonished land,
When he drew forth the lightning's vivid flame,
And hence achieved a never-dying fame.
May those who follow his example now,
"Wear the green laurel that surrounds his brow ;
And, in the cycles of a prosperous fate,
Franklins spring forth from every free-born State !
It was an ancient fisherman
That launched his boat away,
And hoisted up his sails, before
The dawning of the day :
The wind was fair, the water smooth,
He let his boat go free,
And sat upon the after-thwart,
As he stood out to sea.
Far out of sight of land he'd sailed,
And reached his fishing-ground,
When sullen clouds spread o'er the deep,
And circled him around.
96 THE FISHERMAN.
The waves popped up their night-capt heads,
Awaking from their doze,
And, just to welcome him to sea,
The wind politely rose.
The wind came up, the rain came down,
The rain came down in floods,
As if celestial laundresses
Were throwing out their suds :
An infant deluge seemed let loose,
To have a bit of fun,
To wash old Nature's face, and take
The shine out of the sun.
Up jumped the fisherman, and tried
In vain to lower his sail ;
Great guns the wind was blowing, — what
Could his small arms avail ?
THE FISHERMAN. 97
He saw how profitless it was
For him to make a fuss ;
He put his helm down, and took up
His lamentation thus :
" Now ain't I in a thundering fix ?
This here's a pretty sight ;
If things don't turn out better soon,
I shan't turn in to-night.
My boat fills fast, the water creeps
Up slowly towards my chin ;
Surely the sea is shallow here,
To be so taken in.
I'm hungry, cold, and wet ; winds
And waves, old friends of mine !
I'm in a pickle now : why need
You souse me still with brine ?
98 THE FISHERMAN.
" A loaf of bread would cheer my heart,
That now in grief has sunk ;
I wish I was a Chinaman,
And sailing in a junk.
Ah, home, sweet home ! The little brats
That look so like myself !
And ah ! that dear old jug, I seem
To see it on the shelf.
The jig is up ! I never more
Shall tread Nantucket sand ;
I'm going to , I will not swear,
I'll say Van Demon's Land."
Farewell, thou ancient fisherman,
I leave thee to thy fate ;
Men are but worms, and thou hast been
To me a sort of bait.
THE FISHERMAN. 99
I will not make a jest of thee,
I will not laugh nor scoff;
I leave thee on thy sinking boat,
I will not take thee off.
HYMN OF THE WASHER-WOMAN.
At my washing-tub I'm standing,
And my labor scarce begun ;
Quiet watch the rising bubbles,
Joyous, smiling, every one.
See that one so tiny, playing,
Merry, brighter than the rest ;
Whispering, in its gentle music,
Comfort to the fainting breast.
Now in chorus all are joining,
Green, and red, and azure blue :
Who in beauty clothed the rainbow,
To the bubbles gave their hue.
HYMN OF THE WASHER-WOMAN. 101
Father ! though my soul be weary,
And thy servant's strength nigh gone,
Still through these thy spirit shining
Bears me upward, cheers me on.
New Bedford, 1852.
AFTER THE CROSS, THE CROWN.
Thoughts suggested by seeing a beautiful picture, — Clouds over the
earth, black underneath, light above : above the clouds, the Cross ; and
above the Cross, the Crown.
On our tempestuous sea,
Storm-cloud above, storm-wave beneath,
All hail the Cross !
Death's night 's around ;
God's blood is found ;
But on it Love's eternal wreath, —
The gain o'er loss.
On our triumphant way,
Glory around, glory on high, —
All hail the Crown !
AFTER THE CROSS, THE CROWN. 103
Life's dayspring 's near,
Love's soul is here,
Love's smile o'er all the clouded sky,
Behind the frown.
These notches on a stick, cut from the Tree of Thought, were sug-
gested by reading " Glances at the British Poets " by Mrs. M. S. Coffin,
to whom they are respectfully inscribed.
A gem was born in a rocky bed,
"Where in silence and darkness it slept,
While Time, with his footsteps of ages passed on,
And the glory of nations arose and was gone,
Their names to oblivion swept.
But the earthquake came, and rent the rock,
When the Diamond was born to the light ;
Thence in magical beauty ever it glows,
And the splendor of purity modestly shows,
A jewel that ever is bright.
Thus the soul of love, and intellect's gleam,
May sleep in the shade for a while ;
Yet love by its power, and mind by its might,
Will banish the shadows that darken their light,
Then in triumph for ever will smile.
Sat, doth the Infinite e'er bend
From his eternal throne ?
And is his presence here below
By erring mortals known ?
The stars of midnight, as they blaze,
Earth's flowerets, as they bloom,
Speak of God's presence, while they teach
There is a life to come.
All nature smiles in token bright
Of some good spirit nigh,
As ocean-waves are beautiful,
Reflecting azure sky.
god's presence. 107
The infant's smile of innocence,
The maiden's wish for love,
Bespeak the presence in our midst
Of Him who reigns above.
Where purity and love are seen,
His presence must be owned,
Who e'er as Holiness itself
And perfect Love is known.
Oh ! seek his presence in thy heart,
My fellow-traveller dear,
If thou wouldst ever have a light
Thine earthly path to cheer.
Infinity to finite stoops,
And dwells in human breast,
Wherever passion's wrathful waves
By grace are hushed to rest.
A nation weeps ! her brightest son has gone
Back to the spirit-land, his native air,
To beam again in his celestial home,
And blend his brilliance with his kindred there.
That face which bore strong impress of his worth ;
That stately form ; those orbs, expressive, deep, —
Have gone to mingle with their mother earth,
Wrapt in the mystery of death's long sleep.
Those bursts of eloquence no more shall peal,
Guided by Truth, and Genius' sacred fire ;
Nor hearts again those thunder-tones shall thrill,
Nor listening thousands e'er again inspire.
Where shall we seek such intellectual power ?
Or where such mental vigor shall we find ?
Or, in our country's dark, disastrous hour,
Call one to aid us with his matchless mind ?
As Patriot, Statesman, Orator, and Sage,
The world beheld him with admiring eye ;
His name stands forth enrolled on History's page,
With Fame's bright lustre that shall never die.
Whether he looked upon the calm blue sea,
Or surging billows lashed the shore he trod,
Or smiling nature, or the leafless tree,
He saw in each alike the hand of God.
As the last struggling scene of life drew near,
Patient and meek the dying Statesman prayed ;
Nor death nor conflict, nor one boding fear,
Cast on his faith a solitary shade.
Before the silver cord was rent in twain,
As if some type of future life to give,
He turned his spirit hack to earth again,
And loud exclaimed, though dying, " Still I live."
Yes, he does live ! — lives in Affection's shrine,
Whose tears of sorrow shall bedew his grave,
Who round his memory brightest laurels twine,
Nor doubt but " God has taken what he gave."
Though shades of evening gathered o'er his head,
His setting sun has wrapped all hearts in gloom ;
But a bright halo round his sky is spread,
Whose radiant light the world shall long illume.
While o'er his silent urn the tear-drop flows,
Soft be his slumber in his narrow bed ;
Call not his spirit from its sweet repose ;
Peace to the ashes of the Mighty Dead !
Speak gently to thy parents dear,
Harsh words are not respectful ;
How much they love and do for thee,
Be not of them neglectful.
Speak gently to the wayward child,
Be gentle in thy chiding ;
Then let thy words be firm but mild,
In patience e'er abiding.
Speak gently to the aged sire,
Let kind words be extended ;
He's travelled long o'er life's hard road
Old age should be befriended.
112 SPEAK GENTLY.
Speak gently to the erring youth,
If thou wouldst e'er reclaim him ;
But do not keep from him the truth,
Nor do thou harshly blame him.
Speak gently to the needy poor,
Who of thee alms oft asketh :
Thou too may need ; then freely give,
Though oft thy purse it taxeth.
Speak gently to the feeble ones,
For much they have to suffer :
Kind words do sometimes balsam prove
Such do thou freely offer.
Speak gently always to thy friend,
And also to the stranger ;
For gentle words will ne'er offend,
Nor will thy peace endanger.
SPEAK GENTLY. 113
Speak gently, then, whene'er thou speak'st ;
Harsh words do not sound loving :
Speak gently, then, oh ! gently speak ;
A Christian 'tis becoming.
LINES PRESENTED TO E R-
ON HER MARRIAGE MORNING, WITH A COLLECTION OF GARDEN FLOWERS.
These beautiful emblems of Nature and God,
So expressive of love by their essence divine, —
From the hand which first guarded the embryo bud,
Please accept, dearest girl, as an offering for thine.
They were raised in free soil, breathed an air which
And have whispered their love-notes in soft zephyrs
May the impress so pure be transplaced upon thee,
And on him who this evening beside thee shall
They are lovely in autumn, 'mid nature's rude strife ;
Still in triumph they blossom, and sweetly they
May the symbol be true, and your journey through
Be blessed in its noontide, and crowned in its end !
May the spirit of him who is far o'er the sea
Encircle each blossom, and brighten each gem,
That the vow ye shall make responded shall be,
And claim from thy Father the echo, Amen.
As musing by the fire I sat,
At the quiet midnight hour,
No sound disturbed my reverie,
My books had lost their power ;
The old clock, standing in the hall,
Ticked out, in measured beat,
The fleeting moments, as they passed,
Of time's relentless feet.
The memories of other days
Came thronging to my sight,
And many an absent face appeared,
In the vision of the night.
The shadows of the future threw
Their forms across the path ;
And mingled, in my dreamy thoughts,
The future and the past.
I travelled o'er my boyhood's days,
Recalled its hours of joy,
Ere care and sorrow came along,
And mixed their dark alloy ;
When all around was fair and bright,
One happy summer day, —
The glorious sun without a cloud
To hide its heavenly ray.
I thought on Siasconset's bank ;
I stood there once again ;
And gazed, as oft I'd done before,
Upon the deep blue main.
The fishing-boats were lying near,
As waiting for the tide ;
With oars and sails all nicely stowed,
Marks of the fisher's pride.
I stood on Siasconset's hill,
Just at the set of sun,
And looked abroad o'er that fair plain,
And down by Philip's run :
The kine were winding o'er the lea,
And, far as eye could reach,
The sheep were feeding quietly,
From Plainfield to Low Beach.
The scene is changed ; in years gone by,
The red man here did tread ;
And one unbroken forest waved
From 'neath Tom-never's head,
Far, far across by Gibbs's pond,
Through Sachacha and Squam,
And down by Quaise, to where now stands
Old Abram's lone wigwam.
Great Wa-nack-ma-nack here did dwell,
This side of Ok-a-wah ;
A brave old Sachem, mild in peace,
But terrible in war.
In Squam lived Sachem Nickanoose ;
And on Pops-quatchet hills,
The famous warrior, Autapscot,
Where stand our peaceful mills.
In nature's simple charity,
They stretched the open hand,
When, fugitives from Christian hate,
Our fathers sought this land.
They oped to them their choicest stores,
Bestowed on them their lands,
Tasted their poison and disease,
And perished at their hands.
Our pilgrim-fathers forth were driven
By persecution's rod,
And sought this isle among the waves,
Where they could worship God.
"When Autumn's clouds lowered in the sky,
Old Thomas dared the sea,
With Edward nobly by his side,
They'd die, or they'd be free.
They were a race of giant-souls,
Of stout and stalwart forms ;
In boyhood rocked upon the waves,
And cradled in the storms.
They bore our country's flag aloft,
In battle and in breeze,
The first to show its rebel stars
Within Old England's seas.
The frozen waves of Labrador
Bore witness to their toil,
And Afric's equinoctial heat
But served to try their oil.
" No seas their fisheries did not vex,"
No bay, nor river's mouth ;
The North Star shone above their way,
And the Serpent of the South.
By toil and industry they carved
A name on history's page,
Which shines as bright as aught appears
Within the present age.
No brother's blood pollutes their hands,
No murder 's on their souls ;
Their battle-field was on the deep,
Its monsters were their foes.
Thus fancy called up to my mind
The scenes of other days ;
And with its busy fingers ran
O'er time's eventful ways.
And pictures of the past appeared
In shadow and in shade,
And hopes of future greatness reared,
And joys that will not fade.
I will not paint the future scene
That passed before my sight,
In hazy indistinctness seen
In the visions of the night ;
Which, like the huge misshapen forms
On mountain-tops appear,
As pictured on the sky afar,
Make shadows that we fear.
But let our hope be ever on,
In sunshine and in shade ;
'Twas God that led our fathers here,
His mercies will not fade.
And let all put their trust in him,
Strive early and work late,
4 And whate'er sky above us bends,
Bear a heart for any fate.
TO MY WIFE.
c. c. c.
My wife ! the tide is running fast
That bears us to the shore,
And soon our anchor will be cast
Where billows roll no more.
Why should we wish always to stay
Upon youth's flowery land ?
Oh ! rather let us cross the bay,
And seek a better strand.
We do not gather springing flowers,
As in our earlier years,
When smiling suns shone midst the showers
On April's day of tears.
TO MY WIFE. 125
We would some scenes could be forgot,
Where erring footsteps strayed,
As from our sight recedes the spot
Where we in childhood played.
Far back amid the gathering haze,
Some tears we know were shed ;
For broken hearts will meet our gaze,
Where hope 's for ever fled.
Yet 'tis not all a blank behind ;
And if some are asleep,
The flowers must fade ere we can find
How blessed 'tis to weep.
What though we meet with stormy clouds,
As o'er the waves we fly ;
Those are strong hearts that climb the shrouds,
When mist will blind the eye.
126 TO MY WIFE.
We pass some islands where the bowers
Invite us to repose ;
But 'tis a life which is not ours,
To sleep off human woes.
The glow of youthful hours will fade
From out our hearts, my wife ;
But may no darkness come to shade
Our afternoon of life !
There is a voice of lamentation heard, —
A voice of wailing o'er the wide-spread land :
Oppression still doth wield her cruel sword,
Our brethren still are crushed beneath her iron
And on our history's page this is a stain,
And deeper now than e'er was known before :
Oh ! will it e'er be written clear and plain ?
Will justice ever wake, and slavery be no more ?
But ah ! the theme 's full oft by poets sung,
And noble powers are called the cause to aid ;
Oft listening crowds on eloquence have hung,
And life-like scenes have been by able hands por-
But man alone cannot this work achieve ;
His strength and power will insufficient prove,
Unless a Holy Hand doth him relieve, —
Unless assisted by that Higher Power above.
And if man's heart in mercy will not bow,
God's judgments then will surely be displayed ;
And when " it is enough " he 's pleased to show,
Then will oppression cease, and all her waves be
But with us is no other slavery found
Than that which binds the sons of Afric's land ?
Oh, yes ! a poisoned cup is flowing round,
Whose victims, captive-bound, are seen on every
Yes, they are bound as by a threefold cord ;
For that which crushes body, soul, and mind,
Is slavery vastly more to be deplored
Than that which can with chains alone the body bind.
Here, too, a mighty effort has been made,
Already doth the tide of suffering stay :
These labors will, if Heaven but bless their aid,
Hasten the coming of a brighter, better day.
And there is yet the bondage felt by all,
Of sin, by which our every soul is bound,
Until repentance we have known within,
And through our Saviour's blood we have redemp-
Thrice happy he by sin no more enslaved !
He may be called a son of liberty ;
His soul hath been from earth's worst thraldom
For he is free indeed, who 's by the truth made
His heartfelt prayers will rise for all mankind,
His love will then extend from sea to sea ;
He then will stretch a helping hand to save
Earth's crushed and bleeding ones, where'er their
lot may be.
DEATH OF PAUL DOMBEY.
" The golden ripple on the wall came hack again, and nothing else
stirred in the room. The old, old fashion ! The fashion that came in
with our first garments, and will last unchanged until our race has run
its course, and the wide firmament is rolled up like a scroll. The old,
old fashion, Death! " — Dombet and Son.
Pale, within that silent chamber,
Statue-like, decked for the tomb,
Lay the boy so tranquil seeming ;
"While the golden sunlight, streaming,
Took from thence the deathly gloom.
Noiseless stepped the little Florence
Through the open chamber-door ;
For she knew her dearest treasure
Soon would go to come no more.
Joyously the golden sunlight
Dances shadowy on the wall,
Playing o'er the cherub-features
Of her darling brother Paul.
" Why should angel-voices tempt thee,"
Cried she then in deepest woe,
" Leaving me alone in anguish ?
Would that /with thee could go ! "
Dreary now appeared life's pathway,
Since her brightest hopes had fled ;
Earth for her had no more pleasure,
Now that little Paul was dead.
What to her that consolation
Which was to the mourners given,
That the dust to dust returneth,
Spirits wing their way to heaven ?
Proud and cold as was the father,
Terrible was his distress,
As in agony he bended
Over him he'd fain caress.
In his heart's cold, dreary chamber,
Now the light of love was gone ;
Nought could e'er illume the darkness,
As through earth he plodded on.
Fleeting hopes of bright ambition !
Avarice ! thy toil was vain ;
Valueless the heaping coffers, —
Death has loosed the silver chain.
Oh ! how dark his soul, and gloomy,
When he yielded to his grief !
But his stern heart, so rebellious,
Sought in vain to find relief.
Ever thus he darkly muttered :
" Why should Death my treasure take ?
He was all I had to cherish ;
Lived I only for his sake.
Surely, then, no right had Heaven
Cruelly to call my son :
Death has snatched my worshipped idol ;
Household gods — I have not one.
Lurid clouds are overhanging
All this grandeur, pomp, and pride ;
Would to God, my daughter Florence
For her brother could have died ! "
Truly, then, it seemed appalling,
"While he felt the stunning blow ;
All ! save Pride, thus careless spurning,
In his darkest hour of woe.
On his soul a weight now rested ;
Hourly sank the shaft more deep ;
And his daughter's love, so needed,
He was yet too proud to keep.
Pride ! what pangs of woe and anguish
Ever revel in thy train !
Senseless mortal ! hope has vanished,
All thy trust was in a name.
Virtue, Truth, and Love, most holy,
Florence, these will be thy stay ;
Through thy sorrows Heaven will lead thee,
Time shall wear thy grief away.
OCT 20 1902
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